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Republican states to ignore Biden’s Title IX rewrite recognizing gender identity, file lawsuits: ‘We will not comply’

Calling the Biden administration’s recent decision to include gender identity in Title IX “election-year pandering” and a threat to women — and the “truth” — Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed an executive order telling schools in her state to ignore the guidance.

“The educational institutions of Arkansas will continue to enforce state law guaranteeing the right of students to maintain their privacy. Students must not be forced to shower or undress with members of the opposite sex,” states the executive order, signed Thursday by the Republican governor.

Huckabee Sanders is not alone.

Several conservative groups have sued Biden over his Title IX rewrite, and many Republican-led states are rejecting the new interpretation of Title IX as well.

“This week, 15 states have filed lawsuits accusing the federal government of overreach and changing the nature of the original law,” the Epoch Times reported May 3. “Governors and education chiefs in Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, Louisiana, Montana, and South Carolina have also told their school districts to ignore the new definition.”

“I am instructing the Texas Education Agency to ignore your illegal dictate,” Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott wrote in an April 29 memo to Biden. “Your rewrite of Title IX not only exceeds your constitutional authority, but it also tramples laws that I signed to protect the integrity of women’s sports by prohibiting men from competing against female athletes.”

A lawsuit filed by Independent Women’s Forum, Parents Defending Education, Speech First, and several states last week also declares the rewrite illegal.

“This lawsuit tackles head-on the unethical charge that sex is equivalent to gender identity. Sex and gender are not the same, and stripping out sex from Title IX upends all protections for women in education — including the preservation of women’s-only sports and spaces,” Paula Scanlan, former University of Pennsylvania swimmer and Independent Women’s Forum ambassador, said in a news release.

For Arkansas, it sees sex as an “immutable characteristic … rooted in biology,” the executive order states, adding biological males must not be placed in female-designated sports leagues, nor may schools and universities force the use of “false pronouns.”

“The right to refuse to speak a lie is guaranteed in the First Amendment. My administration will continue to protect this fundamental right,” the order states.

Many argue Biden’s Education Department lacks the authority to rewrite the 52-year-old federal law to redefine sex to include sexual orientation and gender identity. In a press conference announcing the order, Huckabee said “My message to Joe Biden and the federal government is that we will not comply.”

As The College Fix previously reported, while the Biden administration argued the rewrite does not make a final determination on transgender athletes, the 1,577-page rule mentions “athletics” 31 times, “sports” 10 times and “team” 111 times. The rule takes effect Aug. 1.

The new Title IX interpretation also runs afoul of several state laws, the Epoch Times reported.

The “rule changes clash with laws in at least 11 conservative states that prohibit gender-confused males from using female facilities. Laws requiring students to use the restroom corresponding to their sex are on the books in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Tennessee,” it reported.

MORE: Conservatives prep lawsuits as Biden’s Title IX rewrite to include gender identity condemned

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About the Author
Fix Editor
Jennifer Kabbany is editor-in-chief of The College Fix.